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I am hoping to transition into the IT/development field and am expecting to start classes this summer. I come from a teaching background, but have also done freelance web development as a hobby for a few years and really enjoyed it. I'm having trouble deciding which of two schools to attend (one focuses on general web development technologies and the other focuses on high-level programming/software engineering principles). I think my biggest trouble is that I'm somewhat aware of what it's like to develop websites, but I've never experienced what it's like to engineer software for a professional organization. The S.E. program sounds more rigorous and very interesting, but I'm not entirely sure if Software Engineering would be a better fit for me.
I've heard that there are a lot of similarities between web development and software engineering (some people say they are the same thing), but I am curious as to whether there are any general fundamental differences in the day to day activities/experiences between the two fields.
- Do web developers have to generally balance many projects whereas software engineers generally focus on one bigger software application?
- Do engineers generally spend more time meeting, researching and planning for projects than web developers need to?
- Are there differences in the typical sizes of each department/team and the number of people you have to interact with?
- Is there more flexibility/opportunity for growth in one position than the other?
These are just examples of questions that I have that may distinguish one position from the other. If anyone could help provide information to help me identify if either option is a better fit for me (or even if there is a difference at all), I'd greatly appreciate it.